TAG Book Review Corner

Book Reviews by The_ Avid Reader

Enola Holmes series by Nancy Springer

Enola Holmes is a thrilling series that will transport any reader into a wonderful world of ciphers and cliff-hanging suspense. Enola is the younger sister of Sherlock Holmes–yes, the great detective. Unlike her famous brother, she is only 14, and she is NOT a great detective. But when her mother disappears, she embarks on a journey with far more bone chilling dangers, thrills, and mysteries than she could ever anticipate.  

Set in London in the late 1800s, the series takes the reader back to a time in history when women were considered powerless to shape their own lives. But Enola is determined to take charge of her destiny, even though she must give up her comfortable life in order to break free. 

The strong female protagonist will enthrall readers of all genders and ages. Enola is fearless, smart, kind, relentless, resourceful, and resilient. This six book series grabs readers like a magnet once they begin. 

Recommended for readers grade 5 and above, due to some violent content. Adults in my family loved it too.

The_Avid Reader

Keeper of the Lost Cities series by Shannon Messenger

"Keeper of the Lost Cities" is an amazing series that takes you to a whole new world–literally. When Sophie Foster meets an odd boy who is sent to tell her that she is not what she appears to be, she finds herself in a land of magic, riches, crystals, and gems. Sophie learns that she is very special and as far from normal as you can get! But the glory fades and things get darker when she realizes that she is the only one who can stop the evil organization named The Black Swan.

Set in a mythical world, “Keeper of the Lost Cities” is an exciting and suspenseful story. Author Shannon Messenger has the ability to whisk readers into a riveting world full of elegance and glory. But hidden beneath, there are many thrills and dangers! Readers of all genders will love this captivating book.   

“Keeper of the Lost Cities” is a series that is still being written and, so far, consists of eight and a half books. Recommended for 5th grade and beyond, due to violent content.

The_Avid Reader

 Book Reviews by Railey

Glitch by Laura Martin 

    A great start to this reading binge! This middle- grade book is pretty good, with an accurate representation of the ages of the characters. The book is about a world where time travel is possible by certain people, and those people are sent to a special school at birth. At the school they train them to fight a separate organization that tries to change important historical events. This is the first in a series. Published in 2020. 

 Slayer by Kiersten White

   This Young Adult book is a Buffy the Vampire Slayer fan fiction. As I have never seen Buffy, you do not need much background to read this book. The text seemed very small after reading a Middle Grade book, and it had a relatively slow start. After that, I could not put it down. Gripping storyline, high action, I recommend this book. This is the first in a series. Published in 2019. 

 Firebird Song by Arnée Flores. 

  This Middle Grade book is not the best book I've ever read, bot it wasn't the worst either. Somehow it felt... disconnected. It does have a good storyline, just could have been written better. One to check out if you like fantastical lore and mystery. Published in 2021. 

 Maximum Ride: The Manga by James Patterson. Story adapted by NaRae Lee. 

   Oh. My. Goodness. I love this series. It is not the first time I've read it, as I read it first when I was way too young and in a Norwegian library. These books were originally a novel by James Patterson, and I have not read it so I can not compare. But wow. This is about a group of winged people that were experimented on as children, and mainly focuses on Max, the head girl. These are parts one and two of a 9+ series. Published in 2009. 

 Thanks a Thousand by A. J. Jacobs. 

    A nonfiction novel I read for my book club. Very interesting, finished in a sitting. Cuss words scattered throughout. About a man who goes on a journey to thank every single person involved in making his coffee. Published in 2018. 

 Bloodlines by Mariah Hayes

   I got this Young Adult book a few years back at a meet and greet. It is actually signed. She talked about how she started this when she was 13. It is actually really good for a first book! For a while there all I wanted was to read more about the taste of blood and other vampire difficulties. There is a small visible seam at the end where she must have taken a large break. This book is about Nylina, who finds out that that her father was a vampire and she is turning into one as well. She and her friends must learn to live with it. I believe it is the first in a series. Published in 2019.  

 Boy Nobody by Allen Zadoff. 

   A gripping Young Adult novel about a trained assassin at the age of 16 who is assigned to kill the daughter of the mayor of New York City. This book has small chapters, but it works. The chapters are great for a quick midnight read to clear your mind, or to fit one in right before school/work. Could barely put it down! First in a series. Published in 2013. 

 Apple in the Middle by Dawn Quigley. 

    This Young Adult novel is a wake-up call to what Native Americans are really like. It is a really beautiful book about Apple, whose mother died in childbirth, and is part Native American. One summer she goes to visit her Native family in South Dakota for the first time, and learns a lot about the Native side of her. 

 The Colors of Magic by Valija Zinck. 

     This is a Middle Grade book. I felt like it should have been in the children's section. I hated this book. It had a lot of loose ends, a lot of stuff made no sense, and either the main character was too young for Middle Grade or the main character was portrayed too young for her age. This book is about Penelope, a girl who wakes up one morning to a mane of blazing red hair. This leads her on journey to discover her powers and save her captive father. Published in 2019

Book Review by Bethany

The Wild Ones by Nafiza Azad 

 The Wild Ones by Nafiza Azad is a beautiful and powerfully poetic book. About a boy with stars for eyes cry’s from pain and creates more stars. He then gives the box of stars to Paheli a girl running away just like the boy. She then goes on a journey to use the stars to bring together other women like her to help those that have suffered from the world as they have. It is a great adventure and when the Wild Ones (as they are called) meet back up with the boy they team up to defeat those that hurt him. While I enjoyed the magic and plot The Wild Ones could have gone more into depth about the wonderful magical world, allowing the reader to explore its created universe. With themes of protection, struggle, and unity, this book is an entrancing read, and a powerful and heart wrenching tale.